It is spring in Wisconsin, which means, among many other things, that most Wisconsin climbers are feeling a bit lethargic from winter's low-activity levels and compensatory over-indulgences. Which is of course the nice way of saying that a lot of us probably spent too much time on our couches while consuming too much cheese and too many beers. I was lucky enough back in early February to have a good friend talk me into a "spring break" a trip to Joshua Tree National Park and have been working a diet/workout plan hard since. I plan on posting the details of that system along with a trip report from J-Tree when I get back.
For the last six weeks or so I have been working the hangboard, pull-ups, push-ups, core-routine and cardio pretty hard. I have dropped 20 pounds and gotten stronger.
Over the last few weekends the weather around here has improved enough to get out and actually go climbing, and I have focused on accumulating pitches of easier routes on lead in order to get my head back for the sharp end, and build some much needed climbing endurance. This has gone fairly well, and I am confident in my ability to lead trad routes 5.8 and under and hop on sport climbs in the 5.10 neighborhood. I feel I can muscle through these without too much complication.
Last night I had a seventy minute date with a V4 boulder problem and got shutdown. So it is clear to me that my climbing forays leading up to the trip should focus on fine-tuning my new strength base with technical routes just at, or above, my current TR level (only I am not sure what that is since I have not pushed on TR since last fall). So I have hatched a plan to head over to Old Sandstone and see how I stack up on a number of old favorites. The plan as of right now, and always subject to change is:
Lead Everleigh Club Crack (feather-bag 5.7)
Lead Curving Crack (solid 5.8)
Lead Wobbly Dihedral (5.9)
TR Mammalary Magic (5.10a)
TR Has Been (5.10c)
TR The High Life (5.11b)
TR Pacific Ocean Wall (5.11d)
If that all goes well (and 5.11d going well is asking a lot at this point) I will try to come up with three other routes to throw on top - which should not be hard considering Old Sandstone is laden with classics.
The forecast for the weekend is looking great again today. Saturday is being called sunny (10% cloud coverage) with a high of 45, and a 0% chance of precipitation. Sunday is mostly sunny (38% cloud cover) with a high of 59, and a 0% chance of precipitation. I cannot wait.